Nursery Reveal: Rustic, Feminine, and Budget Friendly

It's finished! The nursery, that is. The rest of the house is still pretty much a disaster, but the nursery is light and airy and clean, and sometimes I go sit in there just because it is so peaceful. 

See what I mean? So calming! Even Coco loves to curl up on the changing table and sleep. I'm so excited about how everything turned out. I think it's a nice mix of style: a little rustic (real deer antlers definitely make an appearance) while also feeling feminine without being super girly. And definitely budget-friendly, since so many things were thrifted, hand-me-downs, or total DIY projects. But I think that makes me love our nursery so much more.

One of my favorite DIY projects is the ceiling fan. It used to be pastel, with each fan blade a different color. A few weeks ago I took the blades off and had James spray paint them gold. (He insisted, since it was too windy to paint outside and it probably wasn't wise for me to spray paint in the garage.) 

The blades could probably use another coat of paint, but I was impatient and wanted to get them back up there. With the leftover paint, I spray painted the little corner shelf. That little thing has led quite a life. My sister rescued it from the trash when she moved into her first apartment, and passed it on to me when she was done with it. It was black and had been shoved in a closet for awhile, but now that it has a fresh coat of paint it has a whole new life in the nursery.

The dresser and rocking chair were actually projects I started before getting pregnant. The dresser was a steal at our local thrift shop for $20, and I was super drawn to the chair at the same store so I snagged it too. I painted both of them with chalk paint, and I spray painted the hardware for the dresser. Well, I did for the bottom two drawers. The top drawer has new-to-me pulls. When I worked on the dresser I didn't really plan on it going in a nursery, but it's so perfect in here.

The old mirror was also from the local thrift store (The Old Store), as was the gold side table. The lamp is part of a pair I bought at the Salvation Army a couple years ago, and I love it so much. The barnwood frame came from an event The Old Store hosted last year, and the map in the frame is an awesome map of the history of America and the buffalo (from the local Bison Shop, appropriately enough). The diaper pail is really just a plain trash can from Wal-Mart that I put gold polk dot decals on. Nothing special, but it will get the job done and also look pretty! 

James mounted the apple crates that we'd used at our wedding, and I love them there. The top one holds the stuffed animals James and I used as babies, and the other one my stash of aden + anais swaddle blankets. The canvas in the corner is from Lindsay Letters and is just temporary - after we get newborn photos done, we'll be putting them there and moving that canvas back into our living room. 

We used the Hello Love banner at our wedding so I couldn't resist including it here. The crib was my Christmas present from my parents and one of the few new things in here! James prepped the cedar branch. I'd initially wanted to mount it on the wall over the crib, but I like it better just off to the side. Plus it seems a bit safer over there!

We're less than a month away from the due date now, and things are feeling very real. We have one more shower to go, and then we'll stock up on everything we are missing off our registries. But at this point we have all the important things. The only other big item we want/need is the bassinet, but we have the pack n play set up in our room right now, so that would work if we needed it too! But we have a good starter set of bottles (sterilized and ready to go), plenty of clothes (that are already washed and put away), car seats (installed and waiting baby), and diaper stash (cloth, anyway). 

I guess the waiting game starts now! I'll spend the next few weeks trying to get the rest of the house clean and ready, not to mention working my tail off on client work. Plus I'm in the process of rebranding and starting a collaboration with a web designer, so there's a lot going on right now. At least staying busy should keep me from fretting too much about when she's going to come :)

Previously on Mrs Robbins Sparkles...

Cooking with Blue Apron

Taking a break from the When I Grow Up series this week to tell you about my latest experiment: Blue Apron. I was going to wait to write about this until next week but when I shared some photos last night I had several people express interest in it. So I decided to tell you about it today! 

Cooking with Blue Apron ||

Blue Apron is a company that I've been hearing about for awhile. They sponsor a few podcasts I listen to, and I've always thought about trying them. When a friend from college posted on Facebook that she had some free vouchers to give out, I jumped on the chance. (Which means this post is in NO WAY sponsored by Blue Apron - they don't know who I am or that I'm writing this. So it's all my opinion and I got no compensation for it.) 

Basically Blue Apron sends you everything (well, almost) you need to prepare three amazing meals a week. You receive a box once a week full of fresh produce and meat, measured to exactly what you need for each recipe. All you have to do is chop it up and prepare it. (But it does take longer than you'd think!)

When I signed up I was given a few options. First, I was able to decide what day the delivery would take place. I chose Tuesday. Next I was able to choose three meals from their menu. Each week they offer 6 options, half of which are vegetarian. For this week I chose Chicken Milanese, Vadouvan-Spiced Lamb Burgers, and Cod & Miso Soba Noodles. And then I had to wait. 

On Monday I got an email letting me know my meals had shipped, and they arrived around 3 pm on Tuesday. The box was left on my front stoop by the FedEx delivery man, and probably would've been fine there for the entire afternoon. Since I was home I brought the box inside and started going through it. 

Blue Apron Box

The box held a shiny refrigerated bag and three recipe cards. Once I opened that I found the produce and knick-knacks were on top. They weren't super cold which worried me, but now I realize it was packed perfectly because some of the items (like the buns) shouldn't be kept super cold. I pulled out all the produce and found a huge ice pack. When I removed that I found the fish, chicken, and lamb meat resting on top of another ice pack, so everything was still super cold! 

Blue Apron recommends cooking seafood dishes first, because obviously it doesn't last as long as other items. So around 5:15 I started dinner. This meal was supposed to take about 35 to 45 minutes, but it took me closer to an hour. That's one common complaint I've heard from other people - for cooking novices like me, it will take longer than their estimate. 

To get started I laid everything out to make sure it was all there. I was surprised to see white eggplant, which I've never had before. (Spoiler: it was delicious!)

Cod and MIso Soba Noodles ||

Once I verified everything was there, I started chopping. It didn't take too long - peeling and mincing the ginger took the longest, mostly because it was more delicate than chopping up everything else. 

Blue Apron - Cod and Miso Soba Noodles ||

I won't walk you step by step, but after cutting everything up and mixing up the sauce, the cooking actually began. 

Cooking tomatoes for Blue Apron ||

After cooking the first batch of veggies I moved onto the eggplant and started boiling the noodles. They finished up about the same time, and then it was time to cook the fish. I got them in the pan and got to work putting together the noodles, sauce, and veggies, as well as the toppings (peanuts, basil, etc). Cooking the fish was the worst part. I've yet to master cooking fish - it always sticks! 

Cod and Miso Soba Noodles for Blue Apron ||

Despite the sticky fish and the oil that splashed onto my hand giving me a nice little burn, everything turned out great! The noodles weren't anything I'd had before, but they were surprisingly delicious. The flavor of everything was great, and I was super happy with it! Even James liked it, and he's more of a meat and potatoes kinda guy. (He was skeptical about the noodles, though!) 

I think we ate around 6ish, so it took me closer to an hour to prepare it. But it was worth it! 

More details on Blue Apron

  • You can choose a two-person or a family plan. 
  • You can choose your 3 weekly meals from 6 options.
  • You can skip a week at any time - and you can cancel at anytime. No contracts.
  • You can choose your dietary preferences - will you eat beef, poultry, seafood, lamb, etc.
  • You can pick which day you'd like your box delivered. 
  • You keep the recipe cards and can use them over and over again on your own!

I'm not sure how much the family plan is, but the two-person plan is about $60 a week. I know that's pricey for some - it's a little pricey for us! But that's about $10 per person per meal, which isn't bad for such an amazing meal. 

Even though I've only cooked one meal so far I've decided to go ahead and have another box delivered next week. Mostly because one of the meals is steak and I'm so excited to see how that works out! I'll let you know how I feel after I cook the other two meals this week.

So have you tried Blue Apron? Or another similar company? What did you think? 

Previously on Mrs Robbins Sparkles...

Refunk My Junk: An Adventure in Milk Painting

Hey friends! I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day. James and I headed to Ada for the day, and while we were there we picked up some pieces of furniture that had been sitting in an old building for years. (My late grandmother was something of a hoarder, so this building used to be FULL of stuff.) I’ve actually been taking a few pieces from that building here and there over the past few years, and I’ve tried to paint a couple with mixed results. That’s why I was so excited to take a furniture painting class with Allison of Refunk My Junk! (Full disclosure: I was provided the opportunity to attend the class for free in exchange for a blog post/social media promotion, but all opinions are my own. Plus I spent my own money for paint and supplies at the end of the class because I was so impressed!)

The Paint Bar.jpg

I’d initially signed up to take a short chalk painting class with Allison, but something came up the night of that class and I had to reschedule. I’m glad I did, because the furniture painting class was fantastic. I showed up to her new location (in Edmond, OK) around 10 am with an old bench. There were only three other people taking the class. Two women had night stands, the third brought a dining table. I didn’t realize we could bring such big pieces, but I was happy with my little bench. I wanted to see how it turned out before I committed to something bigger.

The bench before the class ||

Allison greeted everyone and showed us where everything was. She had our paint ready (we’d been asked to choose colors in advance) as well as a packet full of information about the paints and techniques she would be using.

Refunk My Junk furniture painting class ||

Once we all settled in with our coffee, she explained the difference between chalk paint and milk paint, and went over some basic techniques.

Allison of Refunk My Junk demonstrating painting techniques ||

I chose to use milk paint, which I’d never heard of before. This type of paint comes in reusable bags, and then you mix the powder with water to create the paint. Allison has a genius hack to make this easy! She uses mason jars to mix the paint, making clean up super easy. While everyone else started with their chalk paint, I set to work mixing up my paint.

Mixing milk paint ||

With both milk and chalk paint there is little prep work. Since my piece had layers and layers of grime I had to clean that off, but there was no sanding or anything like that. As soon as the paint was ready I set to work!

After two coats of milk paint ||

It took two layers of paint, but the bench was starting to look good. Unfortunately my piece was so dry it soaked in every last bit of the paint. Typically milk paint chips to leave a distressed look, but mine didn’t. So Allison gave me a sanding block and showed me how to sand in the right places to achieve the same look.

Once everyone had painted their pieces we settled in to learn about waxes. I had no idea how cool waxes are! You can use them to entirely change the look of your piece. For example, one of the women painted her piece white, and went over it with a dark brown wax. It gave the nightstand a totally different look, and I loved it! 

Applying the wax at Refunk My Junk furniture painting class || MrsRobbinsSparkles

I chose to go over my bench with white wax, and I really liked how it turned out.

Bench after white wax ||

Since my piece was smaller I finished up before everyone. Allison offers discount packages to class members (I believe these are only available during the class), and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and pick up a few paintbrushes, plus some paint and wax. She helped me pick out the colors, explaining what she thought would be best and why.

Naval chalk paint ||

Allison was so helpful throughout the process, even helping the woman who brought a dining room table paint the legs because she had started to fall behind the group. She clearly knew what she was talking about, and I would totally recommend taking any of her classes! If you’ve had any desire to learn more about chalk paint, milk paint, or furniture painting in general, sign up for a class. And if you live in the Oklahoma City area, head to her shop’s grand opening this weekend. She’ll be selling some really gorgeous pieces that she’s worked on, as well as opening up her shop to other sellers in the area. I’ll be in Vegas, otherwise I would totally be there!

Refunk My Junk Grand Opening

And if you’re wondering, I’ve already painted a small dresser with the chalk paint I bought from Allison. I’m not ready to share that project yet – the hardware still needs to be repainted, but it looks so much better than before! And that bench I painted? It isn’t quite finished. I have to buy fabric to reupholster the top, which is going to be another interesting project to tackle soon!

Thanks again for allowing me to attend the class, Allison. It was so much fun!

Previously on Mrs Robbins Sparkles...